Are Rivers, Lakes, or Oceans Safe for Your Dog to Drink From?

DogOutdoor water sources, especially stagnant water, have the chance of containing chemicals and organisms that could potentially harm your dog. Some of the chemicals and organisms in the water could even put your personal health at risk too. Here are just a few things that could be in outdoor water sources:

  • Bacteria can be in water sources that are contaminated by animal or human waste. Stagnant water that is accompanied by wildlife is often an easy place to find this bacteria. Mild infection in your dog can lead to diarrhea, while more serious cases can be much more severe. This bacteria can also be spread through the feces and urine of your dog, which could potentially lead to infection in humans if not handled correctly.
  • Blue-green algae is another type of bacteria often found on the surface of water. This bacteria may form colonies of blooms that rest on top of the water, which may then be swallowed by your dog while swimming or ingested when your dog is cleaning himself after. Vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures are often signs that you will see soon after your dog ingests this bacteria.
  • Parasites and chemicals from runoff or boaters can often be in bodies of water as well. Diarrhea is often a sign if your dog has been infected by these.
  • Salt could potentially harm your dogs health as well. A small amount of ocean water most likely will not harm your dog, but too much ocean water could lead to electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, or diarrhea.

If you want to be safe and keep your dog healthy, bring a water bowl and fresh water for your dog to drink from when you go outdoors, instead of letting them drink from lakes or rivers. Stay away from dirty, smelly stagnant water if you think it may be risky for your dog to drink. If your dog isn’t his same, playful self after a day outdoors and you think he may have drank dirty water, be sure to take him to your veterinarian right away. It never hurts to safe. A good rule of thumb to go by to keep your dog safe and healthy is to not let your dog drink any water that you know you wouldn’t drink!

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